Washington’s Brezhnev Doctrine

Washington’s Military Brezhnev Doctrine in Iraq—And Elsewhere

The much-touted final U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq looks more bogus by the day. For the past two months, Pentagon leaders from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on down have been sending a flotilla of trial balloons aloft about the “need” to keep U.S. troops in that country beyond the end of 2011. Even in the unlikely event that Washington does not successfully bludgeon Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki into approving a long-term “residual” U.S. military presence in his country, there will be a de facto U.S. colonial army there for the indefinite future.

Any notion that the United States government intends to allow Iraqis to run their own affairs is belied by the facts on the ground. The U.S. built a gargantuan palatial embassy in Baghdad—a complex that is nearly as large as Vatican City—staffed by more than 1,000 diplomats and direct support personnel. Both the facility and the personnel levels are much larger than the U.S. embassies in such major powers as China, Japan, Germany, and the UK. All that for a country of some 25 million people. Such an oversized presence suggests that the U.S. ambassador plans to play the role of imperial viceroy, not a mere diplomatic representative to a sovereign country.

And now the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. embassy will hire and maintain a private security detail of some 5,100 armed personnel to protect the bloated diplomatic staff and perform other duties. Lest anyone harbor the illusion that these individuals will be ordinary bodyguards, it is clear that they will be far more than that. In testimony before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management, conceded that in addition to guarding diplomats and embassy buildings, the security force will “operate a fleet of aircraft and armored vehicles.” The cost to American taxpayers? At least $3 billion a year.

The scenario now emerging is that the United States will keep a residual force of 5,000 to 15,000 troops in Iraq, augmented by a private mercenary army of more than 5,000 largely ex-military personnel, indefinitely.

It is an all-too-familiar pattern. When it comes to maintaining a sizable military presence in foreign countries, U.S. officials try to implement a version of the infamous Brezhnev Doctrine. That approach, epitomized by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in the 1960s, was that once a country became a member of the communist camp, it could never leave. Once a large U.S. force takes up residence in another country, U.S. political and military leaders never want to see that situation come to an end. We still have bases and troops in South Korea nearly 60 years after the end of the Korean War and in Germany and Japan some 66 years after World War II. The only occasions when U.S. forces seem to leave is when they are driven out (as in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia) or odd factors intervene (as with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines that combined with a vote of the Philippine Senate to terminate the U.S. bases at Clark Field and Subic Bay).

Iraq threatens to become the latest arena for the application of Washington’s military Brezhnev Doctrine. But it’s not likely to be the last. Already the usual suspects are beating the drums tomaintain a large U.S. military presence in Afghanistan for years or decades to come. U.S. leaders routinely deny that the United States is an empire, but Washington’s conduct certainly creates the impression that it is an empire of bases and client states. The behavior in Iraq does nothing to dispel that image.

Pakistan Demands That Tribal Leaders Police Their Areas, US Merely Wants Them Dead

[This short report outlines the whole problem and the main point of contention between US and Pakistani generals–plans for Pakistan’s tribesmen.  Pakistan is creating a legally binding arrangement with the tribes, where they police their own areas against the penetration of criminal foreigners, “anti-state or anti-social elements,” as well as to protect “roads, government installations and officials.”  The tribal system will be advanced throughout the region, as the representatives of government in the now lawless region.  America’s problem with this is that it is the exact opposite of their preferred solution, the total militarization of the zone.  To that end, US assets are continually deployed against these pro-government tribal leaders, in an effort to turn them against the government and to expand the insurgency.

 

One would think that the US Army would be proud to support this operation, since it is Pakistan’s application of its own “Anbar solution” to its tribal problems.  In Anbar, Iraq, the US military bought peace with the Sunni militants by buying them off and empowering them as the local law in their areas of operations.  This solution cannot be allowed for Pakistan, since US planners have always planned to expand the war there.]

Islamabad, Jun 24 (PTI) The Pakistani Army will withdraw from trouble-torn Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), close to the Afghan border when its tribal people are able to take up their responsibilities to combat terrorism, Army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has promised.
Addressing separate meetings of Ahmadzai Wazir and Mehsud tribes in Wana and Chegmalai areas of South Waziristan, Kayani said the army had played an important role in eradicating militancy and restoring peace in the region.
“The army will leave the area when tribesmen are capable of fulfilling their responsibilities,” Kayani was quoted as saying by Dawn.com.
Pakistan has deployed over 100,000 regular and paramilitary troops in FATA to flush out the Taliban from the area.
The army chief also blamed foreign elements for the situation in FATA, the report said.
Under the Frontier Crimes Regulations, tribal people have certain responsibilities, including protection of roads, government installations and officials and keep their areas clear of anti-state and anti-social elements, it noted.
The US has been pressuring Pakistan to crackdown on terrorists taking shelter in North Waziristan. Pakistan army had undertaken military operations to flush out terrorists from South Waziristan. However, Pakistan has been resisting similar operations in North Waziristan, saying it will not come under foreign pressure and decide when to carry out any military operation North Waziristan.

Half-Baked Turki

[Saudi Arabia is cutting-out for itself imaginary special rights to deny to the world’s Shia the same rights that the Arab Spring movement is demanding for the Arab Sunnis.  This old Turkey has been stirring-up hatred and false ideas in the world for a very long time, especially when he ran the Saudi secret service during Reagan’s heyday.  If the human race has any say left in the decisions that the “elitists” are making for the world, then this sort of anti-Shia nonsense will be neutralized by thinking human beings.  Turki should go back to the farm and play checkers with Bandar, instead of toying with the rights of humanity.]

UK cooks Saudi-hatched anti-Iran ploy

The Saudi Arabian regime has once again resorted to its old masters, the UK and US, in its desperate bid vis-à-vis a powerful Iran, according to media reports.

In the latest of a series of anti-Iran plots hatched by the Saudi royal family, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal has revealed that his country was working on a ploy to usurp the place of the Islamic Republic at the international oil markets, the daily The Wall Street Journal reported.

Prince Turki, who is a leading member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, has unveiled the plot in a speech to a private gathering of US and UK troops at Royal Air Forces (RAF) Molesworth airbase outside London, said the report.

The prince, a former Saudi ambassador to the UK and US, said “Saudi Arabia is preparing to employ all of its economic, diplomatic and security assets to confront Tehran’s regional ambitions”, added the report.

“Iran is very vulnerable in the oil sector, and it is there that more could be done to squeeze the current government,” said the onetime head of the Saudi intelligence agency.

Iran’s “meddling and destabilizing efforts in countries with Shiite majorities, such as Iraq and Bahrain, as well as those countries with significant Shiite communities…must come to an end,” Turki al-Faisal claimed in his statement to the troops in the UK.

“Saudi Arabia will oppose any and all of Iran’s actions in other countries because it is Saudi Arabia’s position that Iran has no right to meddle in other nations’ internal affairs”, he said.

The prince’s allegations came after Saudi king Abdullah sent the country’s National Guard into Bahrain and Yemen over the past 18 months to help his allies in Manama and Sana’a in suppressing pro-democracy movements, which were born in the tiny Persian Gulf islands in response to decades of brutal monarchists’ rule.

The democratic movements were created following the Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia, where long-time dictators who enjoyed Saudis’ and certain western countries’ support were toppled by people’s revolutions and their call for freedom.

Saudis accuse Iran of interfering in its neighbors’ internal affairs, while they, themselves, are killing defenceless people in Bahrain, and Yemen as an occupying power like what their old masters are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Saudi Arabian regime, Britain, and the US are also jointly conspiring in secret to hammer out a strategy to destabilize world’s oil markets to their own interests.

After failing to force members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase crude output at the organization’s recent meeting in Vienna, the Saudi Arabian regime has hinted that it could use its vast energy resources as a strategic weapon.

“To put this into perspective, Saudi Arabia has so much [spare] production capacity-nearly 4 million barrels [per] day-that we could almost instantly replace all of Iran’s oil production,” the prince said.

12 killed in police station attack in NW Pakistan

[Dera Ismail Khan is the home base of the anti-TTP Taliban, followers of Abdullah Mehsud.  They were formerly led by martyred anti-Baitullah leader Qari Zainullah Mehsud.  It is highly significant that terror attacks are occurring in the home towns of several pro-government lashkar leaders at the same time that the ‘Army is focusing on them as their last line of defense.]

12 killed in police station attack in NW Pakistan

English.news.cn

The still image taken from a TV channel shows policemen taking part in an operation against militants near a police station in Dera Ismail Khan, northwest Pakistan, June 25, 2011. At least 12 policemen were killed and a dozen others injured in an attack Saturday afternoon at a police station here, reported local Urdu TV channel Dunya. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)

ISLAMABAD, June 25 (Xinhua) — At least 12 policemen were killed and a dozen others injured in an attack Saturday afternoon at a police station in northwest Pakistan, reported local Urdu TV channel Dunya.

All the police held hostage by the attackers inside the police station were rescued after nearly five hours of crossfire between the security forces and the attackers, said the report.

According to the local media reports, five out of an estimated 10 to 12 attackers were also killed in the crossfire while the remaining militants managed to run away.

Three of the attackers were killed by police while the other two blew themselves up. The three attackers killed include one woman and two of them were of foreign nationality.

The security forces have taken control of the police station and a search operation is underway.

The attack took place at about 4:30 p.m. local time Saturday afternoon at a police station in the Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan in northwest Pakistan. Kulachi is a small town, some 30 kilometers east of the militancy-plagued South Waziristan.

Eyewitnesses said that handgrenade blasts and firing were heard shortly after two men and one woman with veil over her face entered the police station.

At initial stage at least six police were reportedly killed in the shootout.

Over 100 security personnel stationed nearby were called in after the attack was reported. However, the security forces reaching the site were unable to enter the police station as some 20-plus policemen were feared held hostage by the attackers inside the building.

Three blasts were heard when the security forces backed by armored vehicles tried to storm into the police station.

Several police vehicles were reportedly destroyed in the fight. Two policemen held hostage by the attackers were rescued during the crossfire.

It is not known how the remaining attackers have managed to flee the police station which was entirely surrounded by the security forces. Some local media reports said the number of attackers involved in the incident is much less than reported.

No group has claimed the responsibility for the attack yet.